The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed weaknesses in the operations of global and domestic supply chains and laid bare many Australian vulnerabilities as an island nation with 98% of trade and most jobs connected to or reliant on sea freight in some way. The increase in global demand for goods, lengthy lockdowns and infections of workers, the global shipping container shortage, reduction in shipping services and port skipping, Australian industrial actions, and rising costs, have been creating supply chain chaos, which is not projected to so much as moderately ease until 2023 and beyond.
These pressures can undermine our economic recovery from the pandemic and ultimately dampen economic growth.
This document seeks to explore current business experience associated with supply chain pressures (particularly as they relate to sea freight), connected impacts in other areas of policy, and aims to identify possible and constructive pathways forward.
While we may not be able to control the global factors negatively impacting supply chains, we should not shy away from looking inward and improving our own domestic performance and efficiencies.